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Report To The People

Noah’s Law Receives Outstanding Support

By Tommy Reynolds

The House passed its first committee deadline with 379 of 1,468 general bills still alive and on the House calendar for deliberation.  A total of 74.2 percent of the measures submitted by members are dead for the session.  

We will be spending most of our time on floor debate until next Friday, when those bills on the calendar must be disposed of, or fall by the wayside. 

I am very proud of my colleagues for their outstanding support of Noah’s Law, House Bill 507, which passed the full House 113-3 on Wednesday, February 4, Noah Smith’s 18th birthday. While this was undoubtedly a bittersweet moment for his parents, who were in the gallery for the vote, they know that the action we took helps protect other unsuspecting minors from danger.  You may recall that the measure prohibits the sale of caffeine pills and powders to minors.  Noah, a rising senior at Water Valley High School, died of cardiac arrest after ingesting caffeine pills.  We hope that this bill will prevent similar tragedies.  

Other measures that were approved by the House last week include several of importance to Mississippi families. 

House Bill 1165 includes school supplies in the list of items that can be purchased without paying sales tax during the so-called “tax-free shopping weekend.” It also moves the weekend to the first weekend of August instead of the last weekend in July, as was previously the case. Parents deserve this break in one of the most expensive purchases they are required to make while getting their children ready for school each year. This measure passed 116-2, and I strongly supported it. 

An important bill to help students with dyslexia has been sent to the Senate for their consideration.  House Bill 227 extends the Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for students with dyslexia through the 12th grade. Currently, the scholarship ends at the sixth grade. This program enables students to attend schools that offer help for this learning disability if a similar program is not available at their home school.  I was happy to support this measure. 

House Bill 950 passed the House 119 -0 and establishes the MS Works Scholarship Pilot Program.  This program financially assists students headed to community colleges who are interested in vocational careers. We should be about the business of providing our citizens who want to work in the vocational fields every opportunity to do so. We are certainly fortunate that there are Mississippians who are willing to work in the areas that make life better for all of us.  We wouldn’t get very far without the welders, nurse assistants, bricklayers, computer technicians, laboratory assistants and automobile mechanics among us.  I do hope this measure passes the Senate and offers these hard working folks a chance to succeed in their chosen careers.

Please feel free to contact me at 1720 N. Main St., Water Valley, MS 38965, by email at thomasureynolds@bellsouth.net or by phone at (662) 473-2571.  I look forward to hearing from you on any issue that you may have. 

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